Academic writing has long been derided for its unintelligibility, and quite frankly, that reputation is deserved. Why is a profession that is dedicated to furthering human knowledge so unskilled at conveying that knowledge to others? In this classic 2014 essay, cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker formulates some hypotheses. He applies his understanding of academia, human cognition and linguistics to make some candid observations, solve the “academese” puzzle and propose a few strong recommendations.
About the Author
Steven Pinker is an author, cognitive psychologist and psycholinguist. His books include The Better Angels of Our Nature and The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
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1 year agoLack of self awareness, don't realise how much fear influences their decision making. If their career, their life, their ability to provide for themselves and their family relies on impressing their peers, then that is what they will optimize for. You see it everywhere in every domain, if you try to take away the very thing that allows them to put food on the table, then you get push back.